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Blade Runner - 2 Disc Final Cut (DVD)
Ground-Breaking Science Fiction
"Blade Runner" was a decade or two before it's time, yet being nearly a perfect film, it remains a timeless classic. My preference remains with the theatrical version. The voice-over by Ford is well-written and adds another layer/dimension, as well as some much-needed explanation.
The director's cut (without the narrative) seems vacuous. Whichever version, the first ten to fifteen minutes of the film are tedious. How many times do we see Leon's dialog with the Tyrell rep and the shooting? Leon was not my favorite character and his hesitant answers to the rep are not really suspenseful or entertaining. Within a few seconds you get the idea that Leon is a dim wit, a nervous dim wit, but the scene goes on and on.
This is followed with Deckard and the precinct head detective -- again watching Leon's less than spectacularly surprising shooting. The same scene is thrown at us again as Deckard is driving/flying around.
Once I get past the basically crappy beginning, I'm glued in. Harrison Ford is very good in this film but is eclipsed by Rutger Hauer's portrayal of Roy Baty (the IMDB shows the character as Roy Batty but this is incorrect -- as displayed in the novel and in the movie. Given my last name, this was something I couldn't help but notice.) Hauer's performance is mesmerizing.
A tremendous amount of credit also goes to Sean Young's performance as Rachel. An amazingly beautiful woman (in my humble estimation), Ridley Scott's framing/lighting, etc., emphasize her femininity/fragility and an odd combination of near angelic innocence mixed with astute intelligence and keen perception. Replicant or not Sean Young convincingly plays the type of woman that any man (well, almost any man, I suppose) would die for. She's not just a "pleasure unit." Rachel is sophisticated, complex, sensual. Probably, she is conceived to be an idealized woman, a kind of "Stepford Wife" minus the zombie attributes. Not only is Sean Young stunning in appearance, she also has the most feminine, soft, gentle-sounding voice I've ever heard. I could listen to her recite "The Iliad" (or anything else) ad infinitum and remain transfixed.
The addition of Rachel in the story is imperative. "She is the business." The selection of Sean Young to play this role was a masterstroke. Sean Young had a few halfway decent roles after "Blade Runner," but this will remain her crowning jewel. Last news I remember of Sean Young is her going after the role of Catwoman in Tim Burton's second entree in the early Batman franchise. I think she came to the audition in a full-on Catwoman costume of some kind. Somehow this incident (if true) translated into Young being a wacko. That's Hollywood for you.
Her role in David Lynch's strange interpretation of Frank Herbert's "Dune" was also right on the mark. I think all actors are a little bit "nutty." I think they have to be in order to subsume their own identity and fall into character. I simply wish that Sean Young had been given greater opportunities. Like so many other truly beautiful actresses, she seems to have vanished. Unless an actress is able to ascend to the Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett level, they are evidently excreted from the biz once the bloom of youth fades. Compare this with the longevity of male actors -- both highly talented and semi-talented.
There are rumors circulating on the Net that Ridley Scott would like to do something else with Blade Runner. One article stated that Scott wanted to re-shoot the entire movie. That seems extreme and unbelievable, but who knows.